If 50% off award tickets don’t get your attention, I don’t know what will. Lufthansa’s Mileage Bargains — Meilenschnäppchen for those who speak German — are a fantastic way to stretch your miles. Even better, Lufthansa discounts business class awards in addition to economy awards so you can lie back and enjoy the journey.
Let’s take a look at how you can get your hands on some Lufthansa miles, what flights you can book and a couple of our favorite options.
How To Earn Lufthansa Miles & More Miles
There’s no way around it, Lufthansa Miles & More isn’t the easiest program if you want to earn miles via credit card spend. It doesn’t partner with American Express, Capital One, Chase or Citi so transferable programs are a no-go.
Until recently, you could transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Lufthansa but that option has been suspended. Hopefully, that partnership will continue in the future but, until that time, we’re left with one option.
Put simply, if you want to earn Lufthansa miles, you’ll need to use the Miles & More World Elite Mastercard from Barclays. At the moment, this card comes with its best-ever sign-up bonus that’s split into the following two tiers:
- 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in 3 months and pay the $89 annual fee
- 25,000 miles if you spend $20,000 in your first year with the card
When you consider that you’ll also earn 1X mile per dollar, your first $20,000 will get you 95,000 Lufthansa miles. That comes out to 4.75X miles per dollar on that spend. Not bad at all, especially when you consider that the only bonus category the card has is 2X on Miles & More airline partners including:
- Adria Airways
- Austrian Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- LOT Polish Airlines
If it’s not clear, this is not what I’d call a beginner card. If you’re just starting out with earning points and miles via credit cards, I’d look to Chase as Ultimate Rewards points are more versatile. Not to mention, Chase has a pesky 5/24 rule – read up on it.
Lufthansa Mileage Bargains Details
Now that you know how to earn Lufthansa Miles & More miles, let’s talk about these Mileage Bargains. With these promos, you can regularly find discounted award tickets that require 50-60% fewer miles than the usual rate. You can find deals on Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS.
Deals on Lufthansa are the most flexible as you can connect within Germany or to other parts of Europe. With Austrian Airlines, you’re restricted to connections within Austria. If you want to book a deal on Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, LOT or SWISS, you’ll need to book a flight to/from their respective home countries.
Similar to Flying Blue Promo Awards and Singapore Krisflyer Spontaneous Escapes, Mileage Bargains are restricted to specific routes but you can quickly apply filters to see what options you have.
One downside to Mileage Bargains is that you can’t include a stopover while you can include two on a round-trip with regular award tickets booked with Miles & More. Additionally, these tickets must be booked as a round-trip and cannot be canceled or rebooked so make sure you can take the trip if you book it!
Our Favorite Mileage Bargains Right Now
If there’s one airline that can compete with British Airways for the title of highest (and most annoying) surcharges, it’s probably Lufthansa. Since Mileage Bargains on Lufthansa flights are the most common, we wanted to touch on a couple of options that can help you avoid $1,350+ taxes/fees. Pro-tip: Don’t start your trip in the USA!
To take advantage of the current Mileage Bargains, you must travel between November 15 and December 31, 2019. You must book by August 31, 2019.
Hong Kong To Europe
This is probably my favorite option. For 70,000 Lufthansa miles, you can book a round-trip business class ticket from Hong Kong to a number of places in Europe. The best part about this option is that you won’t get hit with massive surcharges. In fact, the total taxes/fees on a flight to Munich is less than $150 while including connections to other European cities will still be below $250-300.
Scandinavia To The USA
If you’re looking for an option that touches the USA, I’d suggest starting your trip in Scandinavia. Of course, this can also take a little planning if you live in the USA but who doesn’t want two trips to Europe instead of one?
Anyway, for only 55,000 miles, you can fly Lufthansa business class between the USA and Europe. However, as mentioned above, the taxes/fees on a round-trip business class ticket from the USA to Europe will run you over $1,350. That’s quite a pill to swallow.
If you book a flight from Helsinki, Oslo or Stockholm, you can use the same number of miles but you’ll only need $420-480 for the taxes/fees. Personally, I’m a big fan of saving the $900 for something else.
How To Find Award Space
Unfortunately, Miles & More will only allow you to run searches online if you have at least 7,000 miles in your account. If you do, it’s as simple as running a search. If you don’t, you can use United to search but keep in mind Lufthansa might release more space to its own members. Alternatively, you can find a friend with enough miles to run a search or call Lufthansa Miles & More and ask a phone agent to run a search.
While I wouldn’t say these are a great starting point for beginners, they’re great for those who have been at this awhile. For beginners, file it away in the back of your mind so you don’t forget about them as you become more comfortable using points and miles. I can’t tell you how many people forget these exist or don’t even know about them.
With such steep discounts on award tickets, you really don’t want to overlook them. While it can take a little work to really maximize your value, it can be more than worth it for people who love to travel. Besides, there’s something fun about nested bookings and Mileage Bargains could be perfect for that.